designing obama: scott thomas talks about obama design campaign

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Monday, October 26th, 2009

designing obama: scott thomas talks about obama design campaign

i don’t write a lot about design, but i have certainly written my fair share about politics. this is a post where those two things meet.

if you’ve kept up with my blog since at least this time last year, you know that i’m, um, to say the least, a supporter of president obama. one of the many layers of his campaign and subsequent victory that i focused on was the design campaign that was particularly pivotal. never in the history of presidential (or any other kind) elections has design played such a prominent role than it did with obama’s campaign. everyone knows obama’s logo. everyone knows the “obama blue” and everyone knows gotham font (even if they don’t know it’s called gotham…which i still regularly find myself obsessed with…).

no matter if how you feel or felt about obama and no matter if you voted for him or someone else, there’s no denying that his design campaign was historically unparalleled and visually stunning. while we had john mccain using optima (font) and that sorta weird murky blue and while hillary clinton’s website looked like something straight from bill gates’ desktop, obama utilized design concepts that created both instant nostalgia and hip “now-ness”. it communicated to both an older generation with its historical references and to the youngest generation with its apple-inspired freshness.

today, i came across a video of scott thomas speaking about the obama design campaign and the associated process from conception to execution. thomas was the design director for the campaign, so he was really involved in every step of the undertaking. in the video, he offers some interesting insights into the concepts and principles that most people never saw. it also—generally speaking—let’s people see what it’s like to thoughtfully design something, as opposed to slapping something together in 20 minutes in publisher. 🙂

so, take a look.

**one final note: i’ll be blogging (hopefully) in the next week or so about a related project i’m involved in that i couldn’t be any more excited about. it’s another design meets obama type of thing that was an unexpected surprise. more on that hopefully soon.**


  1. The Patriot says:

    what's not to love about Obama from the point of a Pastor.

    1. Kevin Jennings
    2. Anita Dunn

    Has no sense of morality when it comes to life, but hey that freaking gotham font is sweet!!

  2. Morgon77 says:

    I'm so pleased that you respect Ryan enough to use any post of his as a leaping off point for cheap jokes and attacks. How blessed he is to be surrounded by Christians who so accurately model Christ.

    Blessings and Peace be unto you, Patriot.

  3. The Patriot says:

    Morgon: Who is joking? This is serious stuff. If you don't value life, everything else is just talk. Also, be careful in rendering "blesssings" through clinched teeth.

  4. Morgon77 says:

    If I cannot call for blessings and peace on those who are calling for hatred and anger, what kind of Christian am I?

    Do you make sure that your clothing wasn't made by children in sweat shops? Do you make sure that no African nationals were killed or exploited in the mining of the gas you use in your car? Did any of your tax dollars kill civilians this year?

    I do value life. I suspect that I value life far more than you do…but my value for life doesn't stop after the baby is born.

    You throw such a hissy fit about abortion, but the support policies that enslave and exploit millions in a lifetime of misery, and you dare to complain about Obamma? Get the plank out of your eye, oh Christian.

  5. The Patriot says:


    "value doesn't stop after the baby is born". I guess it doesn't start before it, that is for sure.

    You would do yourself a favor and learn something about economics. I will give a free recommendation, read "The World is Flat", by Thomas Friedman. Interesting book about the global economy and how what you would call "exploitation" is in fact a better opportunity. What you would destroy in the name of the poor is the very vehicle that is enabling them to provide a better life for their families. But hey who likes facts, you obviously don't.

  6. Morgon77 says:

    Instead of reading a book, I would like for you to go to where those people are living in shanties on dirt floors starving to death, and explain to them that because you read about it in a book, you don't have to take any action to make their lives better.

    Then, when you reach the judgement seat, and Jesus says to you, "When i was poor, when I was hungry, when I was unclothed, when I was uncared for, why did you reject me?" You can look Jesus in the eye and say "But Lord, you need to read this book called "The World if Flat", and it will explain why it didn't make economic sense for me to care for you, and I was actually providing you with a better opportunity." And then, if the scripture is to be taken literally, you can go read your book for eternity in hell.

    Maybe we'll all be sharing that book in hell. It's hard to tell, some days.

  7. The Patriot says:


    You are an awesome comic relief. You actually expect anybody to believe you or anybody can care for life yet support somebody who supports abortion? How do you expect anybody to believe you care about anybody anywhere when you show so much apathy towards the murder of babies in your own back yard?

    PS Try reading the book, or at least a book about something other than being spoon fed. You might actually raise your IQ to double digits. Here's to hoping.

  8. The Patriot says:

    Oh by the way I love how you divert the subject. Instead of actually dealing with
    1 Kevin Jennings
    2 Anita Dunn

    you will attack me. Yet it is probably because you have no clue about anything other than what you have been fed.

    Bottoms up! Keep drinking the kool-aid!

  9. Morgon77 says:

    1. The original topic of the thread was graphic design techniques used by the Obama design team. not abortion. Not Kevin Jennings or Anita Dunn. so you're already side tracking the issue significantly just in your post. This would be like going into an NBA forum and attacking people because they refused to address you seriously about the need for better water filtration systems in towns that haven't had an update in 50 years.

    2. The Obama…whatsit. Group? White house office? Whatever? Seems to be incredibly bad at looking at whether people are specifically talented at a single thing, and then hiring them, without checking their background to see if the rest of their lives match up with it. This will likely be plaguing them for his entire term(s), but there has never been any indication that these people are in office primarily because Obama asked for them. Chalk it up as him being young and inexperienced if you like.

    3. How does asking you to deal with the living, the same way that Jesus did, indicate that I like abortion?

    4. How does attacking any of us in any way follow Christ or John or Paul's statements about love and unity of spirit?

    5. I am, in fact, quite aware of what "the World is Flat" says. I just don't agree with it. It follows the trickle down theory of economics, which assumes that America is fine as it is, which is entirely wrong.

    As the Queen of Sheba said to Solomon, "I can see that the Lord has blessed you so that you can be a blessing to other nations", even as Solomon was enslaving the Israelites and draining them dry with taxes in order to build military bases and sell weapons to other countries.

    Our relative wealth as a nation may actually be our greatest curse. certainly, capitalism as practiced seems to be a tool of oppression as much as it's a tool of opportunity…just because we can do something does not, in fact, validate us doing it.

    You have yet to actually address any of my statements, or even the biblical passages that I have quoted, which indicates that you yourself have no interest in dealing with the word…you have chosen a spot, you have stuck your flag in the ground, and you're going to stand by your guns and be 'right' while the world goes to hell.

    There is no mercy, no love, no grace in you, so far displayed. Be very wary of where this will lead you…As Isaiah says "I don't want your sacrifices and your legalism, I want your hearts." What are you giving God? And what is that leading you to give others?

    Holiness without Love (as, you know, God is Love) is slavery. It is not of God.

  10. Morgon77 says:

    Far too many Christians see life as believing in the right things, and being for and against the right things, with no actual lifestyle to back it up.

    To my mind, anybody who wants to campaign against abortion must be ready not only to take care of the baby that is born to that mother, but also shelter and care for the mother if she is cast out by her family.

    Far too many Christians sentence these women to lives of poverty and isolation, labeling them "sluts" and "whores" who deserve what they got for their wanton sex, but are actually also sentencing those non-aborted children to lives of poverty and hatred.

    To be against abortion, we must also be against the society that makes abortion a choice, a necessity for some people. We must bring an end to poverty, to rejection, to isolation. So long as a woman can be sentenced to the death of all of her dreams because of her desire to please a man, Christians will have no place in saying that they are taking the moral high ground by being against abortion. If we continue to treat the mothers (and the new babies) as essentially disposable, we are in fact bringing hell to earth.

    I fostered children, and adopted two. I am in a county where Christians have just made it illegal to foster or adopt children unless you are a straight married couple, but the majority of those who voted for this "moral" decision will not take part in the foster system or adopt any of those children left behind by those decision. So they can be 'raised morally' by the state.

    Every time we do this, we bring more hell to earth. We do not enact the Kingdom through this moral stand, but instead drown the needy, the poor, the desperate in our righteous stands.

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